In a supernatural battle, the weapons are corporate.
DECEMBER 2, 2021
In a supernatural battle, the weapons are corporate. I’ll explain on this edition of Key Life.
That was Steve Brown. And this is Key Life. We’re dedicated to the teaching that the only people who get any better are those who know that if they don’t get any better, God will still love them anyway. Steve is an author, seminary professor and our teacher on Key Life.
Thank you Matthew. We’re looking at the supernatural and we’re looking at the eighth chapter of the book of Acts, a transitional chapter, when the church, as it were, picks up her skirt and begins to move into the entire world. They were persecuted and they were forced to do it, so they couldn’t take any credit for it, but it is exciting to watch how God works. And we’re talking about the supernatural nature of the battle in which we’re engaged. And we’ve seen a number of things. It is a supernatural battle. It is a battle. It’s not a party, but the end of the battle has already been determined. We’ve talked about, it’s dangerous to look at results of good or evil. And we talked about that yesterday. And by the way, if you started putting names to some of the things that I said, stop it. I wasn’t talking about particular people. Some of you have favorite preachers and you have other preachers you think are heretics. And you said, I know what Steve’s talking about. He just doesn’t want to mention names. No, no, no. I wasn’t going after anybody when I was talking about big churches. Some of the most powerful men and women of God are in big churches. And some really bad stuff goes on in little churches and vice versa, but you’ve gotta be careful and you’ve gotta judge by God’s standards and not by man’s standards. So, it’s not the results of good or evil. You got to tell the difference between what’s a miracle and what’s an act of magic, using this text, as it were, to teach us that sort of thing. Simon did stuff. And Luke doesn’t tell us whether it’s a magic trick or if he is using evil magic to accomplish supernatural things. And it’s not said for a very good reason, and that’s because there are things that are done by evil that have supernatural implications to them. And they’re not magic tricks. Okay? So, you’ve gotta be careful. You’ve gotta measure by Scripture. You’ve gotta make sure that Jesus is exalted. You’ve gotta understand that this is of God and not of man and not judge by results. Alright. I felt like I ought to say that. Now, let me show you something. This is number three. We, as Christians should see that the battle in which we are engaged has weapons and the weapons are by and large corporate weapons. If you look at this eighth chapter in verses 14 through 24, what happens? Some really exciting things were happening in Samaria. Philip’s ministry has been honored in an amazing way. There are signs and wonders. People are coming in droves to Christ, but the power has not been brought to bare yet. In other words, the Holy Spirit’s power has not become apparent in their lives. And so, what happens? The mother church in Jerusalem, send Peter and John to come and visit and they place their hands, and when they do that, they do that representing the corporate church, the entire church. And they pray for the people and amazing things begin to happen. And the Holy Spirit is poured out on them. So, what does that teach us? It teaches us that the individuals that are running around talking about the power that they have and the way we ought to worship at their altar. That’s not from God. The power is a corporate thing, and it’s a part of the church. You find that throughout Scripture, and I’m not going to take the time to show you a bunch of places, but you find it almost everywhere, where God acts. He acts not with an individual, although that is a leader who will lead it, but it’s a corporate thing in the body of Christ. Whoever sins you forgive on earth will be forgiven, Jesus said. What’s he talking about? He’s talking about the church’s message, the church’s power, the corporate nature of what we do. Every once in a while, you’ll hear about somebody who has the gift of healing, and they always have a private jet in which to fly around. They always have plenty of money and they’re always asking for more. And that’s not the way God works. God works with his people, not when an elder prays, but when the elders pray. That’s what Paul said, if anybody’s sick, call the elders. Don’t call a healing evangelist and have them anoint with oil and to pray, and God will hear that prayer and do something important. And why is that? Because it is corporate. The discipline of the church is corporate. The power of the church is corporate and we have to be very, very careful. We were interviewing, and I think I mentioned that before, a scholar in England on our talk show recently, and his name is Christopher and we liked him a lot, but like a lot of Englishmen and Englishwomen, he was understated. I said to him on the talk show, you know, you talk funny, but you say really good things. And he didn’t know exactly how to deal with us, but he turned out, liking it a lot. And he wants to come back on the program. He’d written a book on the book of Job and how Christians can trust in the darkness. But one of the things that was kind of a joke was that we asked him what his Twitter address was. And he looked at us like we had lost our mind. And he didn’t say it, but you could see it in his eyes. He was thinking, what in the world is Twitter. And then we asked him, well, if you don’t have a Twitter account, how about a website that we can send people to. And he said, I don’t have a website. And then I said to him, Christopher, if you’re going to be a Christian celebrity, you’ve got to have a Twitter account and you’ve got to have a website. And then I laughed and said, we took a vote and we decided that you’re the real deal. Listen, be careful about worshiping at any alter, other than the altar of God. Be careful of, now, look, I’m big on individualism and freedom. I’m an American, and whenever I’m in California and at that airport where there’s a statue of John Wayne. I’m into all of that, but you’ve gotta be careful, especially if you’re an American, because we sometimes miss the corporate nature of the action of God. And that’s why you ought to be a part of a church because you can’t do this by yourself. That’s the reason you ought to stand up and be counted as a part of God’s people because God always works with a bunch. Paul says in I Corinthians 3, that the Spirit of God is in you. The Greek makes the you plural. Did you know that? All y’all are filled with the Spirit of God. What was Paul talking about? He was talking about what I’m talking about, the corporate nature of the power of God and battling the supernatural battle in which we are engaged. You simply can’t do that by yourself. Let me tell you something. Augustine said the church, or he is purported to have said, the church is a prostitute, but she’s my mother. And, if you’ve been a Christian very long, you know exactly what Augustine or Augustan was saying. He saw that the church is a messy place. And if you’ve just joined a church, let me give you some advice. You leave before you get hurt. But if you stay, you’ll find out that what I’ve been teaching you on this broadcast is present. And you will see power and you will see what God does with his people when they’re a bunch, when God calls one, he calls a bunch. When God moves, he moves with a bunch. That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be leaders and authority and people who are anointed to lead, but they should be surrounded by the people of God, who hold them accountable, who pray for them and hold up their arms, who make the difference because that is the way God works. And I’ll say it again. And have said it often. Don’t worship at anybody’s alter, except God’s alter. And when you do that, you begin to see how God works with his people. You think about that. Amen.
Thank you Steve. And that wraps up another encouraging week of teaching from Acts. Of course, if you missed any episodes, be sure to visit us at www.Keylife.org and listen to those for free any old time you want. And tomorrow hope you’ll join us for Friday Q&A, some interesting questions on tap that Steve and Pete will tangle with, don’t miss that. As you may know, we also have a talk radio show called Steve Brown Etc. A while back on that program, we interviewed author Dane Ortlund about his book. The book is titled Gentle and Lowly named for how Jesus described himself. In that conversation, we explored what the Bible really says about Jesus’ heart towards centers and suffers. And even though you probably know about that, it’s an unexpected blessing when we’re reminded of it. We’d love for you to hear that full conversation. So, we put the whole thing on CD and we would be happy to send it to you today, for free. Why not give us a call, right now at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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